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Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Gillibrand:
End the War on NYC's Canada Geese

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Originally Posted: May 25, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Gillibrand:
End the War on NYC's Canada Geese

FROM Goose Watch NY

ACTION

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced federal legislation which would require Canada goose roundups at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. These slaughters are inhumane and an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars. 

Aviation experts have reiterated that a cull will not make the skies safer for flying. “The consensus among wildlife experts appears to be that a goose cull won’t really do much to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes, especially since there are dozens of birds that use the [Jamaica Bay] preserve,” Russ Niles, editor-in-chief of AVweb.com wrote in a May 6 editorial. Environmentalists know the golden rule of ecosystems: if one species is removed, another species will take over. So if the gulls and the geese are gone, there will be more resources available for whatever species moves in to occupy their niche. And that species may be even more problematic.

Sign an online petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-bloomberg-and-sen-gillibrand-end-the-war-on-nyc-s-canada-geese

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
phone (212) NEW-YORK
http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2601
New York, New York 10017
phone (212) 688-6262
fax (866) 824-6340

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Since the landing of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January of 2009, the USDA has rounded up and slaughtered thousands of Canada geese and goslings from New York City's parks, operations authorized by Mayor Bloomberg's office, the Port Authority of NY/NJ and other agencies. Recently, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced federal legislation which would require Canada goose roundups at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. These slaughters are inhumane and an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars.

Killing Canada geese in the name of air safety is inherently flawed. New York City has been pursuing an aggressive goose-killing program since 2009, thousands of geese in New York City have been slaughtered. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages Newark, JFK and LaGuardia Airports, exterminates large populations of geese every summer during the molt, alienating residents in the process. Meanwhile, many major cities around the world are keeping airports safe from potential bird strikes without resorting to lethal methods.

Research shows that the most effective programs use long-term, non-lethal strategies that reduce or remove the physical conditions that attract particular species to an airport. Continuing advances in avian radar could also provide traffic controllers with screen displays of waterfowl activity that allow pilots to avoid geese and other birds just as they would another aircraft. Birds can be kept out of the pathways of aircraft by employing proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics. Habitat modification is also being used successfully to discourage populations of geese from colonizing. Geese numbers can be humanely reduced using proven methods developed especially for use in Canada geese.

Aviation experts have reiterated that a cull will not make the skies safer for flying. “The consensus among wildlife experts appears to be that a goose cull won’t really do much to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes, especially since there are dozens of birds that use the [Jamaica Bay] preserve,” Russ Niles, editor-in-chief of AVweb.com wrote in a May 6 editorial. Environmentalists know the golden rule of ecosystems: if one species is removed, another species will take over. So if the gulls and the geese are gone, there will be more resources available for whatever species moves in to occupy their niche. And that species may be even more problematic.

Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The methods that USDA Wildlife Services uses to kill geese are broadly understood to be grossly inhumane - during the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers; to do so in a wildlife refuge is completely unacceptable, violating the essential concept of a refuge.

The USDA Canada goose slaughters are conducted without community notification, transparency, or accountability. The roundups of Canada geese are financed by taxpayers and conducted by a federal agency in city parks, which are public spaces. The public has a right to transparency of governmental operations, and at a minimum, to view video documentation of the treatment of Canada geese during the roundups in order judge for themselves whether they support these extreme measures. Science, morality, and the public preference of most New Yorkers is on the side of Canada geese - they are part of New York, part of our communities, and we do not want them taken away. 


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